Did you know that your skin never sleeps? At night, while you’re in the arms of Morpheus, your skin repairs itself. To aid this process, Kiehl’s has created Midnight Recovery Concentrate, a serum that claims to work “with the skin’s natural nocturnal activity to dramatically restore skin”. Its secret is a cocktail of botanical agents that moisturize and smooth skin. But, just because something is natural, it doesn’t mean that it is good too…
What Kiehl’s Says
A replenishing nighttime facial oil with distilled botanicals that visibly restores the appearance of skin by morning.
Regenerates, repairs, and replenishes skin for smoother, healthier skin.
Works with the skin’s natural nocturnal activity – when skin is most receptive to repairing itself from daily aggressors – to dramatically restore skin.
A natural component of skin, squalane is an occlusive emollient. That means that it can create a barrier on the skin that slows down water loss, thus helping to keep it hydrated and soft.
Evening Primrose Oil
Although widely used in skincare products, Evening Primrose Oil is rarely added in high amounts. This is the exception to the rule. Like Squalane, Evening Primrose Oil can slow down water loss. But that’s not all it does. This oil, which has a high phenolic acid content, also has antioxidant properties, helping to fight the free radicals that contribute to premature aging.
Rose Hip Oil
Rosehip Oil, also called Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, is another wonderful ingredient for dry skin. This oil also functions as an emollient and antioxidant, thus helping to keep skin hydrated and soft, and the signs of aging at bay.
Rosemary, Coriander, and Lavender Oils
What do rosemary, coriander, and lavender oils have in common? They can all be irritating. But at least rosemary oil has some antioxidant properties. Lavender oil can only make the serum smell good. And coriander oil has no benefit at all for the skin, so there really was no reason to add it, especially at such a high, irritating concentration.
Final considerations on the formula
Does Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate visibly improves the appearance of your skin overnight? Well, thanks to its high concentration of emollients, you’ll surely wake up with visibly hydrated, softer, and smoother skin. But then again there are a lot of moisturizers and serums that do the same thing without irritating your skin. And irritation isn’t always visible. Sometimes, it occurs beneath the skin’s surface, so you never get any redness, itchiness, or any other visible symptom alerting you that you that something is wrong.
But even if you can’t see it, irritation is damaging your skin, causing, among other things, depletion of collagen. When irritating ingredients are present in minuscule amounts, especially in formulas rich with antioxidants, they don’t really do much damage. But here, there are too many of them and their amounts aren’t that tiny, which is why I don’t really feel like I can recommend this serum to anyone.
Full Ingredient List
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Squalane, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Coriander Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Lavender Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Linalool, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Citronellol, Geraniol, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Turmeric Root Extract, Limonene, Citral, Sclareolide, Rose Flower Oil, Jasmine Extract, Sunflower Seed Oil
Although I don’t recommend it, you can buy Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate at Amazon and Nordstrom. The 1 fl. oz. bottle, which features a dropper applicator, will set you back €46,00.
The Bottom Line
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate visibly hydrates skin, making it soft and smooth, but invisibly irritates it, causing damage in the long run. You’d better skip this and try, instead, one of the many serums on the market that give you the same benefits without its nasty side effects.
Have you tried Kielh’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate? What do you think of it?